Larry Thomas

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Larry Thomas

Larry Wayne Thomas (born May 22, 1951 in Jefferson County; died August 2, 1962 in Blount County) was a Midfield Elementary School fifth-grader who was kidnapped and murdered.

Thomas was one of three children born to Bernard E. "Buddy" Thomas and Dora Obera "Tiny" Thomas of Midfield.

One afternoon after a Little League baseball game, Thomas and another boy, Kim Canady, accepted a ride from a stranger to get soft drinks. At a Fairfield drug store Canady went inside to buy the drinks. When he came back outside, the man had driven away with Thomas.

Thomas was found dead five days later by Oneonta police investigating the disappearance of a barber going by the name of George Workman. His body was found wrapped in a blanket and soaked in creosote in a shallow wall next to Workman's shack on Strait Mountain near Highland Lake. Thomas had been shot in the head. Workman turned out to be an alias for convicted felon Michael Anthony Mayola. He was captured in Baltimore, Maryland by FBI agents and extradited to Blount County to stand trial for murder. Contemporary reports differed on whether there was evidence of sexual assault.

An armed crowd of about 2,000 people waited for him outside the Blount County Courthouse, so officials instead transported him to the Etowah County jail to await trial. He pleaded guilty and was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He has waived his right to parole hearings and remains incarcerated at Staton Correctional Center in Elmore County.

Thomas is buried at Valhalla Cemetery in Midfield. Through a gift from the Benn family, owners of WVOK-AM, the Larry Thomas Baseball Field at Midfield Park is dedicated to his memory.

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